John Kodachi, Lawyer

John Kodachi

In founding Kodachi Law, John has established a results-oriented firm that is dedicated to providing unyielding client service and satisfaction. It's the guiding principle of the firm. "It's a great feeling helping others succeed in reaching their goals," says John. "Exceeding client expectations is my goal."

Over the past 17 years, John has represented clients in the areas of business, employment, immigration, estate planning, and litigation. He has substantial experience in representing businesses of all types--from start-ups to well-established companies, domestic and international--on a wide range of issues involving entity formation, contracts, and business transactions.

His clients have included high-technology companies, manufacturers, sustainable energy companies, software and design businesses, banks, hotels, restaurants, schools, and many others. International clients often turn to John because of his knowledge and experience in multiple practice areas.

Over the years, John has also regularly counseled employers and employees on urgent employment problems, such as discrimination issues involving race, sex, age, and disability. As the global economy expands, John has seen his immigration practice grow. He has also assisted individuals, families, and foreign workers from all parts of the world. "I've secured immigration visas for people from a host of countries across the different continents —Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Australia—every one except Antarctica," he says with a smile.

For his business, employment, and immigration work, John draws on his extensive experience in complex commercial litigation to proactively advise clients on ways to minimize the risks of a lawsuit. However, when going to court is necessary, John brings a wealth of litigation experience to each client. He has represented numerous clients on multi-million dollar claims in state and federal court, at both trial and appellate level, and conducted administrative hearings, commercial arbitrations, and mediations.

Prior to establishing Kodachi Law, John worked for the large and midsize law firms of Bullivant Houser Bailey, P.C. and Kell, Alterman & Runstein, LLP in Portland. He also worked for the law firm of Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda in Honolulu, Hawaii, right after graduating from Lewis & Clark Law School. "The climates are obviously different, but the legal communities in Portland and Hawaii are similar in that your legal reputation is everything," he observes. As a result, John stresses the importance of upholding the highest standards of professionalism in the time-honored profession.

As a native of Portland, Oregon, John appreciates and relates to the pioneer spirit of overcoming challenges and hardships. In the late 1950's, John's parents emigrated from Japan to Portland. As a result, he personally knows the confusion and struggles immigrants often face when confronting an unfamiliar legal system. That's why John makes it a priority to walk clients through the legal process and explain issues in clear, easy-to-understand terms. “Laws keep our society together, so it’s crucial that everyone understand them,” he notes.

When John is not practicing law, he strengthens his bonds to the local community by serving as a volunteer board member for several nonprofit organizations. Having played basketball for Oberlin College, John also enjoys watching sports.

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Portland Japanese Garden (Board member, 2013-present)
  • Lewis & Clark Law School Alumni Association (President, 2006-2008, Board member 2004-2011)
  • Japan America Society of Oregon (Vice Chair, 2009-present; Corporate Secretary, 2005-2009; Volunteer of the Year for 2013)
  • Japanese American Citizens League, Portland Chapter (President, 2006-2008; Board member, 2002-present)
  • Oberlin College Alumni Association (Regional Coordinator, 2002-present)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (Member, 2000-present)
  • King County Bar Association
  • Multnomah County Bar Association
  • Portland Parks & Recreation volunteer grade school girls’ basketball coach

Admitted to Practice

  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Hawaii
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon


  • B.A., Oberlin College, 1988
  • J.D., Lewis & Clark School of Law, 1992